Paedophile booked rooms for boy at Scarborough hotel

Carl Hoban
Carl Hoban

A paedophile pensioner has been given a four-year jail sentence after a jury found him guilty of arranging sexual encounters with an under-age teen boy.

Carl Hoban, 65, booked rooms at the Grand Hotel in Scarborough where sexual activity took place between him and the child.

Concerned hotel workers suspected something was wrong after Hoban, from Pickering, booked rooms for himself and the child, who was said to be wearing a school uniform on one occasion.

Police were called to the hotel in the early hours of the morning when Hoban said to one of the officers: “It’s inappropriate, isn’t it?”

The Crown Prosecution Service said this proved that Hoban, a convicted fraudster, knew the boy was under-age.

Hoban insisted he did not know this and that the boy had told him he was 16 - a claim strenuously denied by the teenager, who said he had told the pensioner his real age.

Hoban was arrested on March 17 and a subsequent police investigation revealed there had been previous sexual encounters with the teenager in hotel rooms and at Hoban’s flat in Potter Hill, Pickering. He was charged with six counts of sexual activity with a child and three counts of arranging or facilitating a child-sex offence.

Hoban denied all the charges but, following a four-day trial, a jury found him guilty of three of the six counts of sexual activity with the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Hoban was cleared of three other charges but found guilty of all three counts of arranging a child-sex offence by booking hotel rooms.

The boy claimed Hoban had asked him to perform more serious sexual acts, but the pensioner said it was mainly just touching.

Prosecutor Tamara Pawson said the case rested on whether Hoban believed the boy was under-age, which she said was undeniable.

A staff member at the Grand Hotel said the boy had told him he was older than his real age and even lied that Hoban was his uncle or grandfather.

But the boy eventually opened up to police about Hoban’s unhealthy interest in him and claimed the pensioner had tried to persuade him to commit gross acts.

The court heard that Hoban, who ran a business buying and selling household wares, had 48 previous convictions mainly for fraud.

Judge Paul Batty QC said although the boy had initially lied to police about the nature of his liaisons with Hoban, it was beyond doubt that there had been sexual activity between them and that Hoban knew the teen’s real age.

As well as the four-year jail term, Hoban was placed on the sex-offenders’ register and made subject to a sexual-harm prevention order to restrict his contact with children. Both those orders will run indefinitely.

Before being led down to the cells, Hoban apologised to the court and said he was sorry for any harm caused to the boy.